It's time to snuggle up with the best Netflix Christmas movies again, as decorations go up and the weather gets colder. There's a lot to choose from, with everything from animated flicks to Vanessa Hudgens playing three different characters in one movie – but that's where we come in. We've rounded up the 20 best festive films to catch on the streamer this year, and whatever kind of Christmas tale you're in the mood for, you're bound to find something here.
Maybe you're on the hunt for a classic rom-com set-up, in which case look no further than Single All the Way or A Castle for Christmas. Then, you can never go wrong with Netflix's original animation Klaus, or the Princess Switch trilogy. Plus, everything on our list is available in both the US and the UK, so you can plan a movie marathon from both sides of the pond. Scroll on to check out the best Netflix Christmas movies to stream this holiday season.
This delightful animated movie is on its way to becoming a Christmas classic. A lazy postman called Jesper is sent to the town of Smeerensburg, "the unhappiest place on earth." If he doesn't manage to post six thousand letters that year, his family will cut him off from their fortune. Once there, Jesper befriends a toymaker named Klaus, and the two end up delivering toys all over the town together – and might even kickstart a legend in the process.
Funny, heart-warming, and with a truly unique animation style, this is an excellent choice for the whole family and is original enough to shake-up any Christmas movie marathon.
Single All the Way
If a heart-warming rom-com is what you're looking for, then Single All the Way is the film for you. This movie follows Peter, a man who is hassled by his family about still being single every Christmas. Peter brings his best friend Nick home for the holidays with the plan to trick his family with a fake relationship, but before the ruse can be set in place, Peter ends up going on a blind date. Cue matchmaking shenanigans as the family try to get Nick and Peter together... but will they succeed?
There's nothing better than curling up on the sofa with a cheesy Christmas rom-com – and this one even has Jennifer Coolidge!
A Castle for Christmas
Another Christmas movie with a classic rom-com setup, this film sees a bestselling author named Sophie, played by Brooke Shields, retreat to a castle in Scotland after her last book prompted a scandal. Her grandfather once worked there as a groundskeeper, and while the castle is perfect, the owner, played by Cary Elwes, is not. The castle is up for sale, but the catch is, Elwes' character won't be leaving – and is scheming to force Sophie out instead.
If various lockdowns and quarantines have kicked your wanderlust into overdrive, then this is the Christmas film for you.
Father Christmas is Back
Father Christmas is Back focuses on a big family gathering for the holiday season, but, as you might expect, nothing runs smoothly once everyone is together. The Christmas family (yes, that's really their name) is led by four sisters who don't get along, and things are made extra complicated by their long-lost dad returning for the festivities. Plus, there's a secret just waiting to be unearthed.
This film's star-studded cast includes Elizabeth Hurley, John Cleese, Kelsey Grammer, Caroline Quentin, and Kris Marshall.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
This one came out in 2020, and is a wonderful adventure packed with all the magic and whimsy of the best Christmas movies. Plus, it's a musical. Need we say more?
The plot revolves around a toymaker and inventor named Jeronicus Jangle, who creates a sentient matador doll (voiced by Ricky Martin!) – who promptly turns on his creator with the help of Jangle's apprentice. A multigenerational tale about family, creativity and positivity, this is one for the whole family to enjoy.
The Knight Before Christmas
A time-travelling love story starring Vanessa Hudgens, this Netflix original sees a knight sent from medieval times to the present day – where he meets a woman searching for her very own knight in shining armour. While running over your soulmate might not be the meet-cute everyone dreams of, this film still manages to be packed with plenty to love. As sweet as it is ridiculous, it's cheesy enough to be perfect for a quiet afternoon snuggled up with a hot chocolate this holiday season.
The Princess Switch
Another Vanessa Hudgens-lead entrant to the NHMU (Netflix Holiday Movie Universe), The Princess Switch's title kind of explains it all – an ordinary baker (Hudgens) switches places with a Duchess (also Hudgens, naturally). The two women slot into each other's lives and quickly discover they prefer their new situations to their old ones – including their respective love interests. Things might play out pretty much exactly as you'd expect for a switcheroo like this, but it's still a holiday heart-warmer.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again
No best Netflix Christmas movies list would be complete without the crossover for the ages (the most ambitious cinematic event in history, perhaps) – The Princess Switch 2. As the title suggests, this film is a follow up to The Princess Switch and features Vanessa Hudgens playing three characters this time around.
Despite the fairy-tale ending to The Princess Switch, our heroines aren't having much of a good a time when we meet them again. The third Hudgens, cousin to the royal family, hatches an unbelievable scheme to switch places with her cousin to empty out the royal treasury. Except the other two Hudgens characters switch places again, and things get kind of wild from there. Luckily it's another mood booster for the holiday season, though – no tragedy awaits in this ambitious cinematic event.
The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star
Yep, Vanessa Hudgens is back again – this time with The Princess Switch 3. This film sees the Star of Peace, a precious relic from the Vatican that was once owned by St. Nick himself, stolen just before a Christmas festival. Stacy and Margaret need some help to get it back in time: enter Fiona, back for round 2.
As you might expect, Stacy, Margaret, and Fiona end up switching around in their quest to regain the Star, and there's even a chance at winning back a lost love for Fiona just in time for the holidays. If two films of trading places simply weren't enough for you, then look no further.
Non-Netflix exclusive available in US/UK
An incredibly unconventional Christmas flick, Pottersville stars Michael Shannon, Christina Hendricks, Ian McShane, Ron Perlman, Judy Greer and Thomas Lennon. In the tiny town of Pottersville, Maynard (Shannon) makes a startling discovery about his wife, which prompts him to dress as a gorilla and stroll about outside. Mistaken for Bigfoot, Maynard keeps the ruse going for the tourism it could bring the town, which attracts the attention of a monster hunter.
This is probably the strangest film on the list, so if the usual holiday cheer just isn't cutting it this Christmas, Pottersville is the one to watch.
A short and sweet animated flick lasting just 30 minutes, Angela's Christmas takes place in 1910s Limerick, Ireland, and is based on a story by Frank McCourt. Six-year-old Angela wants to keep the Baby Jesus at the nativity in her local church warm, so she…err, steals him from his crib on Christmas Eve? A sincere tale with plenty of emotional weight, this is one people of all ages can enjoy together. Plus, there's a sequel, too – so you can have a double bill of Angela's adventures.
Holidate stars Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey and Kristin Chenoweth. Our two protagonists are both unlucky in love, and after meeting each other randomly, agree to be each other's fake date to deal with their overbearing families. The holidates stretch on beyond New Year, and genuine attachment starts to form – along with plenty of roadblocks. Can the couple figure out their true feelings eventually? Well, considering it's a Christmas rom-com, probably.
The Christmas Chronicles
Starring Kurt Russell as Santa himself, The Christmas Chronicles sees two kids accidentally destroy everyone's presents on Christmas Eve – oops! An adventure to track down the presents, the missing reindeer and Santa's magical hat ensues, which even involves a musical number. Goldie Hawn also has a cameo, if that's not enough to convince you this unconventional Christmas movie is definitely worth a watch this season. Plus, there's a surprising amount of heart in this edgy Santa flick, so it slots right into a marathon of the usual sugary-sweet festive fare.
El Camino Christmas
If you fancy Christmas with a twist this year, look no further than El Camino Christmas. No, it's not a Breaking Bad festive special – it's a dark comedy focusing on a man looking for his father, with the dad played by Tim Allen. Our protagonist Eric (Luke Grimes) ends up barricaded in a grocery store with a bunch of strangers, and things reach a violent conclusion. Vincent D'Onofrio and Jessica Alba also have roles in this grim festive film. If feel-good Christmas movies are you're jam, it's best to leave this one out of your movie marathon – but if they're absolutely not, then this is probably for you.
Dolly Parton's Christmas on the Square
It just wouldn't be Christmas without Dolly Parton, apparently. In fact, she wrote every single song on the soundtrack to this musical. The film co-stars Christina Baranski as a Scrooge-like figure who wants to kick everyone out of her hometown so she can sell the land – on Christmas Eve, no less! Parton plays an angel, rather than a Ghost of Christmas Past/Present/Future, and the film is just as perfectly campy and cheesy as it sounds. A definite heart warmer, and if you're sick of humming the same old Christmas songs every year, this one's for you.
A Christmas Prince
The first film of the Christmas Prince trilogy, this Netflix original is another tale of an ordinary woman and a Prince falling in love (there's definitely a theme, here). Prince Richard doesn't want his country’' throne, and Amber, a journalist posing as the Princess' tutor, is trying to unravel why in the search for her big break. Naturally, the two start to fall in love – but equally naturally, things aren't easy for the budding couple, as their relationship has to navigate a lot of royal drama.
If you love this film, the good news is there's two more available to stream afterwards – so that's Christmas afternoon sorted!
Let It Snow
A meet-cute brings an ordinary girl together with a pop star, while meanwhile, romantic trouble swirls through a nearby Waffle Town. Amidst all the drama, can all these characters find their respective happy endings?
Starring Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Kiernan Shipka, this film might be a bit cliché, but it's still a warm and cosy watch for a dreary winter.
Holiday in the Wild
Starring Rob Lowe and Sex and the City's Kristin Davis, this film follows Kate (Davis), who, after a relationship disaster, goes on a solo-second honeymoon to Zambia. While there, she starts to discover what really matters in life – and might even find love again. This is a film all about following your heart, wherever it might take you. Plus, there are some cute elephants too, if that's not enough.
The setting stands this one out from other Christmas films, as well – trading in snowy landscapes for sunny Zambia. If you’re missing summer, this is the festive pick for you.
A stop-motion animation, this is another unique Netflix original to enjoy this Christmas. At just 42 minutes, it can slot into any movie marathon – and you'll definitely want to give this one a go. An elf thinks a little alien is a Christmas gift, but as it turns out, the alien has big plans for such a small creature. Not only does he want to take out Earth's gravity, but he also wants to steal all the presents! It's part of a larger plan to take all of Earth's "stuff" – but can the little alien learn the true meaning of Christmas in his adventures with his young friend?
The Holiday Calendar
A photographer named Abby with a failing career is gifted a magical Advent calendar by her grandfather. Her photography gigs starts to pick up, and a fledgeling relationship is born – though Abby's perfect partner might in fact be her best friend Josh. It's another completely cheesy Netflix original, but what would Christmas be without them?